Jobs at stake under ObamaCare

To the editor:

Vin Suprynowiz’s Dec. 19 column, “ObamaCare’s cost: 8,500 Nevada jobs,” estimated that the federal health reform law could kill more than 8,500 insurance-related jobs in Nevada — and more than 700,000 insurance jobs nationwide.

But the pain will not be confined to the insurance industry.

The law’s requirement that businesses with more than 50 employees offer health insurance will retard job growth and lead to lower wages for workers across the economy. Indeed, former Obama administration budget chief Peter Orszag noted that, “When your firm pays for your health insurance you actually pay through reduced take-home pay.”

And those employers who choose to pay a fine rather than offer insurance? The Congressional Budget Office states that they’d “offset at least some of the cost by paying lower wages or employing fewer people.”

Janet Trautwein

Arlington, Va.

The writer is executive vice president and CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters.

To the editor:

Mark Twain once said “Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting over.” But today, Nevada can’t afford to fight over water. Instead, we must successfully balance the many calls on our limited water supply and the Colorado River, from agriculture and wildlife, to growing cities and the energy sector.

That responsible approach was echoed during last week’s Colorado River Water Users Conference, thanks largely to the leadership of U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and federal Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor. And it should guide our ongoing efforts to protect the Colorado River.

As organic farmers in western Nevada for the past 28 years, we know first hand the importance of long-term thinking in conserving our limited water supply while also balancing diverse demands on limited resources. That is why we thank Mr. Salazar and others for their common-sense approach to western water issues.

Steve Litsinger

Marcia Litsinger

Stagecoach

Budget cuts

To the editor:

According to last Sunday’s “60 Minutes” program, the next crisis America faces will be that states and local governments are going broke all across our nation.

Ninety percent of the newly elected governors are saying “no new taxes” and promising to cut spending.

What they don’t realize is that in the past two years — whether you are newly elected or returning to your office — everything possible has been cut.

Our Gov. elect-Brian Sandoval is stating the same thing as the previous one. He says “no new taxes” and vows to cut spending even more. Our previous governor wanted to cut education by 30 percent. This meant no UNLV sports. That meant the College of Southern Nevada and the new nursing school and medical school would have to go.

Gold is currently up to $1,200 an ounce and the casinos took in $6.3 billion last year. Nevada casinos are also paying the lowest taxes in the entire nation. There is no need for any office — state or local — to suffer here in Nevada if our governor will just do the right thing.

I hope Mr. Sandoval will take a clue from his fellow Republicans and just raise the fees on our two leading industries for just two years, or have the common sense to do so the Las Vegas economy turns around.

Michelle Bracey

Las Vegas

Ethanol scam

To the editor:

A few years ago, while living in New England, I had a 2001 sedan (Lincoln LS) with just three years and 35,000 miles. It went from 20 mpg to 16 mpg average on the same route. After much troubleshooting shop time, I learned the culprit was ethanol. I found out that people in businesses using marine engines or small two-cycle engines were routinely using a costly additive to partially counteract its disastrous effects on their machinery.

I also learned that ethanol is inherently a less efficient fuel than normal gasoline and that cars which use it can expect lower miles per gallon. My solution at the time was to switch to non-ethanol fuel delivered from Canada to a handful of New England service stations.

Now by federal decree all fuel must have ethanol content and that’s not an option. Now that I have a new car I don’t wonder whether ethanol will do damage to the engine, but just how much damage. I’ve also learned that on a net basis ethanol requires nearly as much input of fuel for tractors as well as fossil fuels in the form of pesticide/ fertilizer as the energy it produces in the gas tank.

Moreover, its production takes prime agricultural land out of food production. Let’s face the reality of ethanol: it’s more of a problem than any kind of solution to our very real energy problem – it’s merely a form of federal subsidy for corn farmers.

Why Washington is thinking about upping the ethanol requirement to 15 percent is in every way very troubling to me.

There are far better energy solutions available than this very flawed corn farmer welfare scheme.

Neal Graham

Las Vegas

Pure garbage

To the editor:

Why do the people of Las Vegas not care about the trash and litter that is all over this city?

I just moved here from Washington, where I lived my whole life, and I have never seen so much trash in any one place. Everywhere you look there is trash.

I just returned from Phoenix recently and hardly could find a single piece of trash.

This city is so beautiful and has so much to offer, why aren’t we doing a better job keeping it clean? The city of Houston has a model program and prides itself on keeping its city clean.

I wonder how many people would choose to live here if they weren’t buried under trash.

Instead of stating, “If we build it they will come,” we should be stating, “If we clean it they will come.”

Matt Trafford

Las Vegas

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